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Eagles vs. Ravens, Winners and Losers: Philadelphia's running backs had a big night

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In Sam Bradford's first game as an Eagle, it was the running backs who showed up on the scoreboard.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday night's preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens was all about quarterback Sam Bradford, and with good reason. After all, he is expected to be the Eagles' starting quarterback in 2015, and it was his first game in an Eagles uniform. But ultimately it was the running backs who stole the show Saturday. Three running backs scored touchdowns (four if you count Kenjon Barner's return touchdown) in a 40-17 win.

Let's take a look at who showed up, and who left something to be desired in preseason game number two:


Sam Bradford: Sure, he didn't do anything spectacular. But he helped engineer a scoring drive on his only series of the game. And not only that, he took a few hits - some more suspect than others - and kept going. All in all, it was an encouraging night for Bradford.

The ground game: It's hard to complain when three of your running backs find the end zone. DeMarco Murray played for the first time in an Eagles uniform and showed the kind of straight-ahead burst and power Chip Kelly is looking for in the run game. Ryan Mathews also had an impressive 14-yard touchdown, and Kevin Monangai got into the end zone in the fourth quarter.

Kenjon Barner: Another game, another return touchdown. After scoring on a long punt return last week against the Colts, the former Oregon Duck took another punt to the house this week. Forget pushing for a spot on the roster - Barner is stating his case for the kick return job.

The starting secondary: The number one secondary didn't do much of note last week against the Colts, but it was a different story Saturday. Nolan Carroll II forced a pass breakup that was intercepted by Walter Thurmond III. And later in the game, prized free agent signing Byron Maxwell picked off a pass of his own. The Eagles are reportedly thrilled with the way their secondary is coming together, and Saturday showed fans why.

Nelson Agholor: The rookie continues to impress. Agholor had a team-high four catches for 49 yards, and saw extended snaps with the first team. He may not be starting Week 1, but Agholor will likely be an important part of the offense all year.

Diaheem Watkins: The relatively anonymous defensive lineman stated his case Saturday night with a four tackle performance in the second half. Whether it's enough to earn himself a spot on the team (or practice squad) is debatable, it is encouraging to see a player deep on the depth chart play well.


Riley Cooper: Cooper didn't necessarily do anything wrong, but he only played a handful of snaps after injuring his thumb in the first quarter. The results of the x-ray were negative, but with the impressive play of Agholor, it's fair to wonder if Cooper's looking over his shoulder a bit.

Matt Barkley: Saturday was another uninspiring performance by Barkley. The much-maligned quarterback started the second half and went 6-of-14 for 86 yards. Barkley continues to struggle with decision making and arm strength. Sure, his competition for the third quarterback job isn't exactly lighting the world on fire. But Barkley isn't doing much to separate himself, either.

Tim Tebow: You know what's good? Running in for a touchdown. You know what's not good? Not actually running in for a touchdown. You know what's even worse? Not running in for a touchdown, but also not throwing to the wide open receiver in the back of the end zone.

(He'll still probably make the team, though.)

Backup offensive line: The starters looked fine, but beyond that? Not too much to write home about. Newcomer John Moffitt in particular looked like a player who hadn't been with the team all offseason. The Eagles' starters should form a solid line, but injuries to any of the starters could cause trouble during the regular season.